Molecular analysis techniques such as gene expression analysis and proteomics have contributed greatly to our understanding of cancer heterogeneity. In prior studies, gene expression analysis was shown to stratify patient outcome on the basis of tumor-microenvironment associated genes. A specific gene expression profile, referred to as ECM3 (Extracellular Matrix Cluster 3), indicated poorer survival in patients with grade III tumors. In this work, we aimed to visualize the downstream effects of this gene expression profile onto the tissue, thus providing a spatial context to altered gene expression profiles. Using infrared spectroscopic imaging, we identified spectral patterns specific to the ECM3 gene expression profile, achieving a high spectral classification performance of 0.87 as measured by the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curve. On a patient level, we correctly identified 20 out of 22 ECM3 group patients and 19 out of 20 non-ECM3 group patients by using this spectroscopic imaging-based classifier. By comparing pixels that were identified as ECM3 or non-ECM3 with H&E and IHC images, we were also able to observe an association between tissue morphology and the gene expression clusters, showing the ability of our method to capture broad outcome associated features from infrared images.
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